A Deep Dive into Authority

Stalker0

Baller Magnus
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And it's therefore a non-issue, in my opinion.

You have enough turns before your 1st policy choice to assess your surroundings and determine if you have a start that is crowded enough to merit Authority.
This I will disagree, I do feel like you can get starts where you can't make a full assessment before picking your first policy. I've definitely seen some starts that looked like a decent number of barbs at the start, then after the initial clear, dry as the sahara.
 

zeofig

Warlord
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And it's therefore a non-issue, in my opinion.

You have enough turns before your 1st policy choice to assess your surroundings and determine if you have a start that is crowded enough to merit Authority.

If you roll a heavy warmonger civ and get a peaceful, lonely start, the policies aren't your point of failure. It was being forced to pick your civ before you saw your start, or it was your map roll's fault for not placing a warmonger where he could do some damage. Either way, if you rolled a start that isn't great for a policy tree but then pick it anyways, that's not a shortcoming with the policy tree.
I disagree. Many starts look good for authority, but they aren't good. You can't see if there are enough CS in time. I've played dozens of authority games and realised mid classical that this game would be far easier (and more fun) if I'd just gone progress. How often do you actually play an authority game on immortal/diety?
 

Stalker0

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Thinking about it more, I do think the new barb changes may be a big factor towards the swinginess. In theory open maps with less cities and CS should be getting a good bit more barbs if I understand the changes, which should feed the authority beast. Limited barbs would indicate more CS/other civs, which again gives authority food for their engine. So it is probably best to wait to 3.0 to see how things look.
 

Stalker0

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That said, the change I posted that I still feel very strong about is:

Militarism
Old: Each city with a garrison gives +1 happiness and +2 culture. -15% to Unit Maintenance, -50% to road maintenance.
New: Each city with a garrison gives 2 culture. -20% to unit maintenance. Gain a supply free unit in a city when that city hits 5 population.

This actually helps Authority in a number of ways:

1) It effectively gives you the garrison you need for the bonus in several of your cities when you first take the policy. Now you can decide to send it off, but at least you have the choice, rather than having your army far away and either have to recall them or build more troops.

2) Authority players actually get backstabbed a lot, but because their CS bullying tends to anger Civs, and again they tend to send their armies far and wide, so often have a softer underbelly. This gives them a nice little backup army at home if/when that war comes.
 

zeofig

Warlord
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What if garrisoned units just don't use supply with the policy (if that's possible)? Then you really would feel good keeping them at home. Even if you have more supply, you're still gonna want to send those archers or whatever to the frontline if they will have an effect.

Also I really like the road maintenance reduction
 

CrazyG

Deity
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Oct 14, 2016
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That said, the change I posted that I still feel very strong about is:

Militarism
Old: Each city with a garrison gives +1 happiness and +2 culture. -15% to Unit Maintenance, -50% to road maintenance.
New: Each city with a garrison gives 2 culture. -20% to unit maintenance. Gain a supply free unit in a city when that city hits 5 population.

This actually helps Authority in a number of ways:

1) It effectively gives you the garrison you need for the bonus in several of your cities when you first take the policy. Now you can decide to send it off, but at least you have the choice, rather than having your army far away and either have to recall them or build more troops.

2) Authority players actually get backstabbed a lot, but because their CS bullying tends to anger Civs, and again they tend to send their armies far and wide, so often have a softer underbelly. This gives them a nice little backup army at home if/when that war comes.
I like the free supply unit at 5 pop instead of every 10

How would people feel about moving that 2 culture to something other than garrisons? Maybe walls or barracks.
 

alchx

Warlord
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Nov 29, 2016
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What specifics are you envisioning here?

I a build a unit to sell to other major civs? Or to city-states?


You can get a faith bonus for killing via God of War or 2 faith to barracks via God of Protection. I don't think authority itself needs a faith source.

Now, is god of war good? Frankly I think every pantheon that doesn't give culture is 'bad' in the sense its a weak choice relative to the ones with culture (my only possible exception is God of the Sea). Goddess of protection is pretty good but I think its still bad relative to ancestor worship.

This was a long way of saying I think pantheon balance isn't great and it hurts authority. Generally I'm taking God of All Creation and conquering neighbors instead of getting a religion.

If founding 5 cities to become the founder of a religion, then the Autocracy needs to create 4 settlers after turn 45. Each settler is made 8-9 turns. All this time we do not produce units.

Autocracy has very weak production in the capital and other cities. Jumps in production are possible only at the moment of cultural expansion of the frontiers. And the borders expand only when you get culture for killing.

As a result, we are stuck in the fact that we do not have a normal army to get culture for killing and speed up construction in all cities. Between turns 45 and 90, we are not engaged in wars, but in an attempt to place cities on the map (instead of conquering) and building shrines.

It is better to establish your own religion with the right pantheons and beliefs than to capture someone else's holy city. Which can be very difficult to get to, especially if it is the capital behind 1-2 border cities.
 

alchx

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Or give the autocracy +1 faith to monuments, so that they can be engaged in the production of units for the robbery of religious city-states (which may be who knows where). Or give faith for demanding tribute - 50% of the gold received (100% of the received culture, hammers, food) .. Then it will make sense to rush around and rob city-states. Now, up to turn 150, it is more profitable to be friends with city-states, because. passive bonuses are more profitable than instant income.
 

Stalker0

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I played a few authority quick plays just to get a feel for it again, as it has been a while. And yeah I here people on teh science.

This last game was pretty telling. I had a very solid start, 4 CS in my area, including 1 culture CS. Not a lot of barbs, but still plenty of food for the grinder. Got up to 5 cities quickly (with imperium bonuses starting on city 3), got lots of tribute, and then took out a CS city. Great!

Now I'm pushing against my neighbor, who is solidly ahead in tech, and it feels like I'm stalling out. I'm way behind in science, and while I may win eventually I don't see a quick victory against his tech lead. So he will continue to get yields turn after turn while I begin to stagnate.
 

Legen

Emperor
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Authority's concept is that it rewards you for employing units and gets plenty of early production to let you build a large army. Notably, this tree performs much better with a civ that has an Ancient Era UU that it can spam and throw at a major civ, since it is then not tied to short lived sources (barbarians, city-state units and tribute pool). Bonus if your civ also has an early combat or terrain bonus on top of the UU, like Songhai and Inca. Being able to harass a major civ early on is enough to make Authority a consistent tree, in my experience.

Something that could work is an early "+10% :c5strength: CS outside of friendly territory" promotion, so that Authority can harass enemy civs without depending on an UU. The "+10% :c5strength: CS" promotion from Honor can simply be split between an early "+10% outside friendly territory" and a late "+10% :c5strength: CS inside friendly territory", so that the tree gains some early power, but remains unchanged in the long run.
 

Voremonger

Warlord
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I had an idea for some small quality-of-life buffs for Authority:
  1. Grant instant yields from kills in the city closest to the kill rather than the city where the killing unit was built. It doesn't matter for unlocking policies but in terms of border growth culture is in my experience more useful in relatively new cities and in cities at the edge of your territory.
  2. Add some rule that disallows barbarian units escaping with 10 HP via embarkation. Could maybe be an HP threshold or not having been in combat the previous turn.
  3. Let city states recognize barbarian kills a little further out. Unless I'm specifically going for the influence I often end up killing barbarians just two tiles from the city state border and get no influence.
 

youngsteve

Prince
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I had an idea for some small quality-of-life buffs for Authority:
  1. Let city states recognize barbarian kills a little further out. Unless I'm specifically going for the influence I often end up killing barbarians just two tiles from the city state border and get no influence.
I have always found it annoying that a CS wants you to kill barbs from a certain camp, then if they are a couple of tiles away from them you gain no influence. Same when barb invasions event hits. Thinking about it though, I can understand why this is, as sometimes 2-3 CS may be having problems with the same camp, & it would be a bit unbalancing if you gained influence with all of them after killing a barb.
 

Valvts

A Plant
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Actually for me the Authority tree is much better for wide play than Progress. The Tribute policy is insanely good for wide play, and the extra production is exactly what is missing in new cities. But I must say, I almost never 'bully' city states. I feel like my army is in my cities for the bonus happiness and culture, or I am in wars with other civs, so I dont have time to position my army around city states.
 
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Zakuzelo

Chieftain
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Apr 25, 2014
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89
Culture from barb camps should stay. It makes clearing them that much more rewarding, both tangibly and mentally. If you're looking for an experience-from-barbs theme, maybe you could give a stack of experience to a unit that clears a camp?
Farming camps is never a good idea. It's gamey, dangerous, begging for some other civ's pathfinder to swoop in and clear the camp, and worst of all, it's boring as hell. Never do this and never implement mechanics encouraging this. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm pretty sure that the rate at which an individual camp spawns barbs is similar to a new camp spawning after one is cleared. Since camps spawn with two barbarians you'll get more barbarians to fight this way anyway, even ignoring the rewards from clearing the camp.

I disagree. Many starts look good for authority, but they aren't good. You can't see if there are enough CS in time. I've played dozens of authority games and realised mid classical that this game would be far easier (and more fun) if I'd just gone progress. How often do you actually play an authority game on immortal/diety?
It'd probably be too much or too late, but what do people think of Authority's opener giving some kind of scouting bonus? Reveal nearby cities in some way, increase military or recon sight, something like that.
Authority is going to be swingy and map-dependant to a degree no matter what. The tree is based on being aggressive against your neighbors, and is therefore dependant on who those neighbors are, moreso than any other policy tree. I don't think you can fix that without changing the tree's identity outright. So maybe there should be something to help the player determine if this really is an effective Authority start and to keep going, or to bail and go Progress or Tradition?

As Napoleon said (if) - 'the army must feed itself.' In the sense that it must constantly fight and conquer.

Puppets, vassals, the wages of the vanquished for a truce - these are your sources of income as an Autocrat.

Although it is worth refining the AI logic a little so that Progress and Tradition turn to Autocrats (including the player) to conduct proxy wars. Moreover, the result should be judged by military success - the score of the war and the presence of fluctuations in this score. If there was no hesitation, then the AI will automatically publicly denounce the hired Autocrat for not fulfilling the deal. So that there are no situations when someone signed up to start a war and did not come to the battlefield.

It should also remove all penalties of the 'warmonger' in the relationship between the parties to the transaction. Otherwise, when fulfilling an order and capturing a couple of cities, you can be considered a scumbag even from the customer.
It's a little beyond the scope of the Authority tree, but my god, I love absolutely everything in this post. Genuine mercenary work, consequences for under-performing, building a stable alliance with a peaceful civ as their go-to attack dog, inevitably turning on them and tearing them apart when they stop paying up, get too cocky, or when you get so strong you just don't need them anymore. Yes, yes, give this to me, inject it into my veins.
 

Voremonger

Warlord
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Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm pretty sure that the rate at which an individual camp spawns barbs is similar to a new camp spawning after one is cleared. Since camps spawn with two barbarians you'll get more barbarians to fight this way anyway, even ignoring the rewards from clearing the camp.
The issue isn't the rate at which barbarian camps spawn. The issue is whether those camps will spawn at all. I cannot guarantee that my understanding of the game mechanics is 100% correct but this is what I think happens:
  1. There is a parameter "FogTilesPerBarbarianCamp" that determines the upper limit of how many barbarian camps can spawn based on the number of land tiles that major civs don't have vision on.
  2. The game begins. Because the major civs have low vision the upper limit for barbarian camps is relatively high. A lot of barbarian camps spawn.
  3. Major civs expand their vision so the upper limit for barbarian camps decreases. After a camp is cleared there will not necessarily spawn another camp to replace it.
  4. Over time barbarian camps concentrate in areas of the map where they don't get cleared, e.g. isolated islands. If the upper limit for barbarian camps is low enough no new camps will spawn close to major civs at all.
 

Stalker0

Baller Magnus
Joined
Dec 31, 2005
Messages
9,567
Culture from barb camps should stay. It makes clearing them that much more rewarding, both tangibly and mentally. If you're looking for an experience-from-barbs theme, maybe you could give a stack of experience to a unit that clears a camp?
Farming camps is never a good idea. It's gamey, dangerous, begging for some other civ's pathfinder to swoop in and clear the camp, and worst of all, it's boring as hell. Never do this and never implement mechanics encouraging this. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm pretty sure that the rate at which an individual camp spawns barbs is similar to a new camp spawning after one is cleared. Since camps spawn with two barbarians you'll get more barbarians to fight this way anyway, even ignoring the rewards from clearing the camp.


It'd probably be too much or too late, but what do people think of Authority's opener giving some kind of scouting bonus? Reveal nearby cities in some way, increase military or recon sight, something like that.
Authority is going to be swingy and map-dependant to a degree no matter what. The tree is based on being aggressive against your neighbors, and is therefore dependant on who those neighbors are, moreso than any other policy tree. I don't think you can fix that without changing the tree's identity outright. So maybe there should be something to help the player determine if this really is an effective Authority start and to keep going, or to bail and go Progress or Tradition?


It's a little beyond the scope of the Authority tree, but my god, I love absolutely everything in this post. Genuine mercenary work, consequences for under-performing, building a stable alliance with a peaceful civ as their go-to attack dog, inevitably turning on them and tearing them apart when they stop paying up, get too cocky, or when you get so strong you just don't need them anymore. Yes, yes, give this to me, inject it into my veins.
So funny enough a scouting bonus would actually hurt authority. Barb camps spawn outside your vision, the more tiles you can can see the less likely a new camp will spawn.

That might be an interesting change, enable Barb camps to spawn in your line of sight.
 

Stalker0

Baller Magnus
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9,567
This will be the case in 3.0.
Wait really? Barb camps will just spawn right near your units? Will hot damn, its a brand new ballgame. hehe am I the only one that things the barb floods will be insane in the first run of 3.0:)
 

Rekk

Emperor
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Dec 9, 2017
Messages
1,998
Wait really? Barb camps will just spawn right near your units? Will hot damn, its a brand new ballgame. hehe am I the only one that things the barb floods will be insane in the first run of 3.0:)
From Recursive's Difficulty proposal:
- At the end of turn 2, create encampments on 1/8 of eligible tiles, chosen randomly
- Every 2 turns thereafter, create an encampment on a random eligible tile at the end of the turn (every 3 turns if Chill Barbarians is enabled, every 1 turn if Raging Barbarians is enabled)
- Encampments cannot spawn within 4 tiles of a major civ's original capital
- Encampments cannot spawn within 4 tiles of another encampment
- Encampments cannot spawn in owned territory
- Encampments (and their initial starting unit) can spawn in territory that anyone has vision over, but cannot spawn on tiles that are: occupied by a unit, adjacent to a unit, or adjacent to city borders.
- Encampments can spawn on improved tiles, and destroy any improvement on the tile (except Embassies). Defend your roads if they're not in your borders, or your City Connections will be at risk!
Emphasis mine.
 
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